Our Workless Future

11/06/2017

Could the universal basic income usher in an age of hyper-dependence, hyper-surveillance and a growing divide between technocratic elites and mainstream humanity?

Capitalism is Dead, long live global corporatism

03/06/2017

Why some greedy bankers may want Corbyn to win

I had wanted to expand on my Brave New World thesis in relation to mounting calls from the trendy left and business leaders for a universal basic income. We now see an alliance stretching from social justice warriors, environmentalists and no-borders activists to corporate CEOs all advocating what is in practice a global welfare state.

Realignment in the age of Elitism

28/04/2017

I expect no prizes for forecasting the Conservative Party will win Theresa May’s Snap General Election on 8th June. That’s because none of the opposition parties offer viable alternatives that can convince ordinary pragmatic voters uninterested in foreign policy and who do not have an ideological commitment to socialism, environmentalism or universalism. If, like me, you loathe all power-hungry elites, this election will disappoint you, but is likely to mark the end of an era for the old political theatrics of Workers vs Bosses.

Mainstream Fake News Kills

09/04/2017

On the Brink of World War Three Over Misappropriated Chemical Attacks.

Call me old-fashioned, but facts do actually matter even if they're inconvenient and do not fit with your preferred narrative. Your enemy may be bad, but your enemy’s enemy may be even worse. That said, disinformation and emotive propaganda should concern us most when they come from the world’s best funded media operations.

Madonna vs Alex Jones

04/02/2017

How the Virtue-Signalling Left Cares More About Affluent Jet-Setters Than Defenceless Goat Herders

The faux outrage about Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban on citizens of 7 mainly Muslim countries reveals more about the priorities of the affluent infantile left than it does about any shift in US foreign policy. Most people in the world outside of North America, Europe, Japan and a few other wealthy countries cannot afford to fly to the United States.

Is Oceania still at war with Eastasia?

13/11/2016

How President Trump could signal the demise of the USA as a superpower and how the globalist elite may switch allegiance to other centres of power.

In George Orwell’s 1984 Oceania appeared to be in a never-ending war against Eastasia. Airstrip One, the new name for Great Britain, belonged to Oceania with North America and Australasia, but Eurasia stretched across continental Europe to Vladivostok.

Am I Left or Am I Right?

23/10/2016

Once again we return to the superseded left vs right spectrum or is it good vs bad, collectivism vs individualism, state control vs private enterprise, equality vs meritocracy or ecological responsibility vs economic growth? Few real world issues can be simplified on a one-dimensional scale.

Universal Welfare vs Individual Freedom

17/09/2016
Would global corporations bankroll a universal welfare system without seeking to control our lives? Imagine a society that not only provided all your existential needs, but also gave you wide-ranging lifestyle freedoms and did not compel you to hold down a mundane job just to afford the necessities of life.

Would a sane Commander in Chief ever deploy Nuclear Weapons?

17/07/2016

The British Parliament is about to vote on the renewal of the country’s US-built and US-controlled nuclear missile shield. In case you didn't know, these nuclear warheads are launched from submarines based in Faslane on the Firth of Clyde, just 20 miles from Glasgow, Scotland.

Fair Trade Not Free Trade

28/05/2016

Free trade has now become an untouchable sacred cow, which alongside economic growth and free movement of labour forms a sort of mercantile holy trinity. Without free trade, we are told, we would have a smaller variety of more expensive products and, worst of all, economic stagnation. However, all this assumes an idealised world of free markets and a level playing field in terms of environmental regulations, workers’ rights, welfare provision and taxation.

Our Emerging Brave New World

28/12/2015
Mental Health Mantra: If you believe vocal lobbies, we can never devote enough resources to tackle our ongoing mental health crisis. Politicians of all hues like to champion the rights of mental health patients to better care. They try to score points on the perceived lack of funding for mental health services. The subtext is ...

Why are there so many recruiters?

04/10/2015

I don’t know about you, but 90% or more of my linkedin contact requests come from recruiters. I don’t accept them all. Am I the kind of talented high-flyer you would want to headhunt? Probably not, in person I’m rather shy and certainly not management material. I suppose I just know a few esoteric programming tricks and have a good understanding of data and information architecture. What’s more, apart from a few modules taken as part of an Open University degree, I’m entirely self-taught.

The Copy and Paste Design Pattern

04/10/2015

All good programmers understand the concept of design patterns, creational patterns, structural patterns and behavioural patterns. We apply these patterns in different aspects of our projects. It’s good to recognise common patterns so we can generalise routines into reusable functions, methods or classes. I won’t bore you with the details because you can learn more from a wealth of other online resources, but two key principles underly all design patterns:

Surprise: The Big Business Party won

15/05/2015

I predicted a hung parliament that would ditch any manifesto promises at the behest of corporate lobbyists. A weak government is arguably more malleable than a strong one, unless the strong government does exactly what its true masters want. I suspect the new Conservative administration will disappoint many traditional small-c conservatives as it pursues a rigorously corporatist agenda while undermining the very United Kingdom it claims to champion.

Nice Party Manifesto

22/04/2015
As an environmentally friendly, safety-aware, anti-racist, disability-positive, anti- homophobia, feminist, pro-growth, pro-children, pro-happiness party, we oppose all nasty policies that may harm other human beings. #satire

What the enlightened elites really think of you

15/03/2015

Opinion leaders love to use inclusive first person plural forms, like we, us and our, when addressing unenlightened plebs who fail to share their enthusiasm for all things post-modern and mistakenly reminisce about the positive aspects of our recent past, like greater social cohesion, more respect for age and experience, simpler rules of social etiquette and above all a lot less social anxiety.

Twitter Mob: Don't Blame the Users

17/07/2014

How lobbies have turned consumer groups into victims

Now for something different: Web Fonts

11/05/2014

You may wonder just how I added these custom font types. I’m the last person to believe your choice of font should affect the message you wish to convey. Alas Web designers love custom fonts and often spend countless days wrestling with various technical solutions to reproduce the graphic deisgner’s wishes on all browsers. Back in the day, they had to resort tricky Javascipt libraries such as Cufon or, heaven forbid, Flash-based solutions such sifr. These solutions could actually crash some browsers.

Rebel without a cause

07/12/2013

Do you like to indulge in drugs and booze ? Surely only boring losers would abstain from the exciting social life facilitated by binge drinking, cocaine parties and ecstasy-enhanced all-night raves. Maybe you like to gamble or play first-person shooters online with your virtual friends and imaginary foes. And what self-respecting young adult would not watch hardcore horror movies and gory action thrillers? You might even enjoy rapid-fire techno music and gangster rap.

Multinational Scroungers and Tax Dodgers

10/02/2013
Just before Christmas the British media revealed some large up and coming multinational outfits had taken advantage of tax loopholes and the wonders of early 21st century globalised trade to evade taxes. Suddenly Labour supporters had a cause they could all rally behind and win support from hardworking voters rightly fed up with high taxes and shoddy services. Let's force evil Amazon and Starbucks to pay their taxes in the UK. For a fleeting second I thought we had returned to the early 1970s when the Trade Unions and Labour activists advocated import controls and high tax rates for the rich.

All true conservatives are green

29/04/2012

I sometimes enjoy Peter Hitchens’  antidote to mainstream trendy Neo-Liberal thinking, but fear he is on some subjects in bad company and a tad ill-informed. No rational person could deny volumes of hard evidence showing the exponential rise in humanity’s collective impact on our planet’s delicate ecosystem, both in terms of our numbers (rising from just 750 million at the start of the industrial revolution to 7 billion now) and our per capita consumption.

The Bankers are bankrupt and so are we

26/03/2011

Today over a hundred thousand demonstrators will descend on Central London to protest against cuts in public spending. I can sympathise for I've joined many similar protests defending the rights of ordinary working people and against wanton waste and wars. Why, they wonder, should ordinary people suffer because politicians and bankers have wasted billions on wars and billionaire bankers continue to reward themselves huge bonuses? Unfortunately many have misdiagnosed the problem.

Old Browsers

14/11/2010

If the main body of this page has rounded corners and subtle drop-shadow effects with a stylish Diavlo font face instead of Arial / Helvetica / sans-serif, chances are you are already using a modern browser. If you see square borders and a default sans-serif font, then you should be aware your browser doesn't support the latest Web standards making the life of Web designers rather difficult. This site looks great on Android phones and tablets, iPhones and iPads, but will look rather dated in Internet Explorer 6, 7 and 8.

Implementing an Ajax-like Interface: A Quick How-to

In the Web development world there's been a lot of buzz about an acronym many of us previously associated either with a brand of detergent or a Dutch football team. In a nutshell Asynchronous Javascript And XML means inserting new information into a Web page without reloading the whole page. Traditionally Dynamic HTML would use complex Javascripts to replace parts of a page with data that had already been downloaded or was based on user input. That's fine when managing small amounts of data, but if you...

Dear Macophobe Charlie Brooker

In response to Charlie Brooker's piece on Guardian Comments Free: Why I hate Macs ... Hey, I'm using a Mac and also use Linux on another machine, use Windows XP + Linux at work and have endured my fair share of woes with the various incarnations of fenestrated operating systems falling victim to viruses, spyware and persistent crashes. I also plugged in a three-button wheel mouse as I'd become accustomed to frequent right clicks in my Windows days. However, with a Mac mouse, you just control-click...

CSS Two Column Layout

If you view this site with Firefox or other browsers based on the Gecko 1.8+ engine, you'll see the body of articles neatly arranged into two free-flowing and self-balancing columns. This relies on the new CSS 3 column module , implemented in Gecko browsers as -moz-column before ratification by the W3C. Safari and Opera have introduced limited support for multiple columns and will implement stylesheet workarounds for these user agents as soon as possible. Although IE7 is doubtlessly an improvement over...

The One Laptop per Child Dream

Do children need game consoles, mp3-players, camera phones, bedroom TV sets with inbuilt DVD players? Probably not. Few cross-cultural comparisons would suggest such devices are of any educational benefit. Indeed they distract children from other forms of play and learning, bombard them with a never-ending blur of junk information and prepare them only for a world of instant gratification, in which corporate deities impart magical gifts. You will not learn how to program by playing moronic games on your...

Buying a Mac

For the last 15 months I've been using a second-hand laptop purchased on ebay for £200 with a 1.3 GHz Athlon processor, 256MB RAM and a 20GB hard drive. I first installed Mandriva Linux 10.0 and owing to persistent power management problems I later tried the Ubuntu/Debian-based Simply Mepis distribution. With a little tinkering I managed to get all the essential software packages and Wi-Fi connectivity up and running. Yes, Linux offers a plethora of office productivity, programming and Web development, ...

Where OpenOffice could do better

Some may argue that you cannot fault the quality or features of free software, so if MS Office still offers a few bells and whistles that are a tad more polished than their OOo counterparts, a potential user need simply decide if these refinements are worth £200+. Yet OOo Writer has emerged not only as the main competitor to MS Word, but as a serious challenge to the domination of one software giant, 40% of whose revenue stem from business's addiction to its ubiquitous Office Suite. In many respects OOo...

What is Open Source and why should you care?

Operating systems and productivity software are very much here with us to stay. The millions of person hours invested in the development of the powerful programmes many of us use every day will serve hundreds of millions of users for generations to come. Only five years ago a typical desktop system may have cost as much as £1000, so possibly investing £200 in software may have seemed, relatively speaking, a small price to pay for professionals relying on mission-critical applications. However, when...

Why are you using still using Microsoft Internet Explorer?

You may just be wondering why it matters. Microsoft have their operating systems on over 90% of the world's desktops and these just happen to ship with IE as the default browser. Not only that some sites use code specifically designed for Microsoft technologies like Active-X, so why not just take it easy and reap the benefits of interoperability that stem from the dominant browser? Why not just leave Firefox to the geeks and besides “If the guys at Mozilla want to compete they might consider...

Non-Web Formats

The Internet is a collection of interlinked documents distributed in open formats compatible with the greatest number of heterogeneous operating systems and devices. The World Wide Web's standard text markup language is HTML, which has undergone numerous revisions since the Internet's rapid expansion in the early 1990s. XML, in many ways a descendent of the more complex SGML, is the default standard for data exchange between diverse systems. Almost any kind of data can be marked up and...

Reclaiming Word

If you own a computer, you probably have some form of word processor. Whether you need to type a report at work or a letter at home or maybe just a short shopping list, chances are you think you need Word or rather Microsoft Word TM . How could we possibly manage without WordArt, ubiquitous in nursery schools and on church noticeboards worldwide? Don't messages look so dull if left in a dated serif font? Isn't it just wonderful that we can highlight text in bold and change its colour? And just in case...
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